Launch of the Da Vinci Satellite

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Dear donors and visitors,

Fortunately, our goal of raising 30.000 euros has been reached, and for that, we are very grateful! This sum will in the first instance be used to pay for the launch of the CubeSat. However, the possibility to donate will remain. The money that is consequently raised will be used to improve the educational modules with, for example, licensed software that the education team will use for further development, and any unforeseen necessary expenses.

We would once again like to thank everybody for their participation tot his project. Together we will elevate education!


The Da Vinci Satellite, a VSV ‘Leonardo da Vinci’ lustrum project, the study society of Aerospace Engineering, has almost been finalised. This crowdfunding is the final step towards closing the financial gap of the satellite launch! With your donation, this goal can be achieved.

 The Da Vinci Satellite is developed by a team of students, for students. On board, there are interactive educational payloads aiming to inspire and enthuse primary- and high school students by allowing them to be in direct contact with space. We aim to enthuse children and teenagers for aerospace engineering and to pursue a path in STEM subjects. Join us in elevating education!

 This project is not commercial, all funds go towards the development of the Da Vinci Satellite. All persons participating in the project do so on a voluntary basis. With a donation you make the launch of our satellite a reality! 

 More information on the project can be found on the other tabs!








Space flight is indispensable in everyday life. Not only does it play a large role in modern society, it is crucial for understanding phenomena in and on Earth. By becoming acquainted with space flight from an early age, children can become inspired and motivated to discover what space has to offer them.

The project

In honour of the 15th lustrum of the study association VSV ‘Leonardo da Vinci’, the ambitious project of launching a CubeSat was brought to life. Our goal: to inspire and enthuse the youth of the Netherlands for technology and space flight, while emphasizing the impact of space flight on our society. To accomplish this, a multidisciplinary group of over 55 students form the TU Delft is developing the CubeSat, together with educational modules. The biggest financial hurdle of this project is still to overcome: the launch of the satellite into space.

Crowdfunding goal: the launch

To get the satellite into space, it must be transported by a rocket. For a small satellite like ours, multiple satellites are launched in one rocket. In the space world this is known as a ‘piggyback launch’. As you can imagine, a launch does not come cheap. After negotiating with multiple launch providers, we were able to get a good deal while ensuring safe launch. We have been able to fund a large part of the launch through various companies and funds, but there is still a small financial gap left. With your help we can fill this gap!

The satellite

Together with various companies, our technical team has developed a state of the art CubeSat. The solar powered satellite will contain two payloads: a dice game, developed by the Leidse instrumentenmakers School (LiS) and a bit flip module, a memory card on which the data stored is subjected to cosmic radiation. These payloads serve as a cornerstone for the educational modules.

Educational modules

Two educational modules, linked to the two payloads, are developed. One will be used for primary schools, and the other is a computer science module for high schools. The primary school module provides general knowledge on space and technology. A story-based game has been developed for use in the classroom, which can also be used for homework or outside the curriculum. The high school module is placed in the course computer science and has two tracks: track 1 focuses on orbital mechanics and radiation, while track 2 focusses on error detection and correction.

With your donation, we can realise this project and inspire the upcoming generation.

The main goal of our project is to give back to society. Therefore we chose to equip our satellite with two educational payloads: one for primary schools and one for high schools. These payloads will bring space into the classroom. Children and teenagers will learn about and research the secrets of space with this satellite.

Primary school

Before developing the primary school module, we asked primary school students what they wanted to do in space. Their answer: play a game. To this cause we developed a dice module together with the Leidse instrumentenmakers School (LiS). With this module, primary school students will be able to play games in space. Through an interactive game we developed, the students can go on a mission to learn about the moon, the sun, Mars, the ISS and other satellites, and immerse themselves in the world above our heads.

Secondary school

The high school module addresses the course of computer science. The CubeSat is equipped with a bit flip module, on which data files (such as images) are exposed to cosmic radiation. This radiation interacts with the electric circuits of the memory card and will flip the ones and zeros (a one flips to a zero or vice versa). The education module accommodates two tracks. Track 1 emphasises orbital mechanics and radiation. In this track the student learns about communication with the satellite and forces working on the satellite. Track 2 covers error detection and correction. In this track, students will learn how they can detect errors in data files and how to obtain the original data.

These two modules make sure that space is being taught about in our schools and that children and teenagers with an interest in space can deepen their knowledge.

Space travel is indispensable in everyday life these days. It is of social importance that people understand what is happening to the earth. By becoming acquainted with space travel from an early age, children can become inspired and motivated to discover the world. This may have to do with technology, global warming, or sustainability.



The Da Vinci Satellite carries two payloads and consists of various components. An overview can be seen in the image below. The size of the whole satellite will be the same size as a milk carton!



The primary school payload is the dice game, designed by the Leidse instrumentenmakers School (LiS). The dice are placed in a transparent chamber and are able to move freely in microgravity. To determine the values of the dice, one of the walls of the chamber is pushed towards the dice, trapping the dice between the two walls. A picture of the dice is taken and sent back to Earth.

The high school payload is the bit flip module, which is used to illustrate the effects of cosmic radiation on digitally stored data. An image can be sent to the satellite, which is stored there. Due to cosmic radiation, the bits (zeros and ones) that contain the image data can be flipped. A zero can become a one or vice versa. The image is sent back after a certain amount of time and the effect of cosmic radiation can be observed. This information is used to teach students about the effects of radiation on data.

To ensure proper functioning of the payloads, communication with Earth and a stable orbit, the satellite requires a number of components next to the payload.



The component controlling the satellite is the onboard computer, or OBC. This computer is to the satellite, as the brain is to the human body. Software is developed and transferred to this OBC to ensure functioning of the satellite and the payloads.

The altitude determination and control system, or ADCS, is the system ensuring the orientation of the satelliet, making sure that it will not spin too fast. It can measure the magnetic field of the Earth, the inertia of the satellite, and sunlight. Three onboard flywheels and three onboard electromagnets allow for stabilisation of the satellite if necessary.

To communicate with Earth, the satellite is equipped with antennae and a transceiver, a device that transmits and receive signals.

The whole system is powered by a 5 volt power source that is regulated to secure a production of 3.5 volts.

€15 Donate Da Vinci Satellite screensaver  - To celebrate the 15th lustrum of the VSV ‘Leonardo da Vinci’ we are launching the Da Vinci Satellite! 46 donors €39 Donate Invitation to (virtual) roll-out  - Wubbo Ockels, the first Dutch astronaut, went to space for the first time at the age of 39! + all rewards mentioned before 32 donors €75 Donate Limited edition dice - For 75 years, the VSV ‘Leonardo da Vinci’ has aimed to elevate the experience of students in the broadest sense. + all rewards mentioned before 27 donors €101 Donate Recommended Your name in space: Become the third payload! - Your name will be stored on a chip that will be onboard of the satellite as third payload. 101 is the binary number for 5, combining the two payloads: number of dice in a 3-bit binary number. + all rewards mentioned before 34 donors €333 Donate Personalised bottle of Jenever  - In the same year that the VSV 'Leonardo da Vinci' turned 75 years old, the Law of Universal Gravitation was formulated 333 years ago by Isaac Newton. + all rewards mentioned before 3 donors €500 Donate Your name on the Da Vinci Satellite monument: Forever in the faculty  - 500 kilometers is the approximate altitude at which the Da Vinci Satellite will orbit our planet. Your name will be on the monument, which will be placed in the Faculty of Aerospace Engineering. + all rewards mentioned before 22 donors €1,945 Donate Physical ornament related to the Da Vinci Satellite - The year the VSV ‘Leonardo da Vinci’ was founded. You will receive a custom-made physical ornament related to the Da Vinci Satellite. + all rewards mentioned before
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19-06-2021 | 00:00 Dear donors and visitors, Today is the last day of the crowdfunding endeavor. We would like to thank all of you for contributing to this wonderful project, and we would like to show our gratitude. Fortunately, we have reached our goal of 30.000 euros and more, which we will use to cover other financial hurdles related to our crowdfunding and education aspects. We are currently organizing the purchase and distribution of the rewards. We will contact individuals who are entitled to these rewards as soon as possible. Once again we would like to thank everybody for their contribution to this project. Together we will elevate education!
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